Friday, May 01, 2009

Exceptional Proof

Think you know English? Then, surely you know the phrase "the exception that proves the rule" right?

Or, do you?

The old-fashioned meaning of the verb 'prove' is 'to test'. "The exception proves the rule" made perfect sense when it was first stated - the exception casts doubt on the rule by 'testing' it and finding it inadequate; it makes no sense at all when it is used today to justify ignoring awkward exceptions.

"The exception disproves the rule" would be a modern aproximate.

The More You Know!


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